UPDATE: Sept. 24, 2:03 p.m.
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections is now allowing controlled movement of inmates at most male minimum-security facilities, minimum-security units at medium-security prisons, and all-female prisons. Correctional officers will move small groups of inmates from their pods or cells to allow the use of prison telephones, provide outdoor recreation time and access to dining halls and canteens. These inmates will also have daily, structured access to showers.
ODOC is also sending farm and industry workers back to their assigned jobs, as well as inmates in education programs back to the classroom. These facilities will phase in these controlled movements over the next week.
ODOC initiated a state-wide prison lockdown September 15 after fights between gangs occurred at six prisons within a 24-hour period. Dozens of inmates were injured and one was killed. The lockdown is a safety measure used to secure inmates in their cells or pods while agency investigators determine the root of the violence. Inmates remaining on lockdown are allowed three showers a week and are fed three meals daily from a master menu.
The prisons allowing for the controlled movement are prepared to return to a full lockdown if any problems arise.
ODOC appreciates the patience of inmates’ families during this time, as well as their understanding that a lockdown helps ensure the safety of their loved ones and staff members.
Visitation remains cancelled at all prison facilities.
Minimum-security facilities include:
- Bill Johnson Correctional Center, Alva
- Howard McLeod Correctional Center, Atoka
- Jackie Brannon Correctional Center, McAlester
- Jess Dunn Correctional Center, Taft
- Jim E. Hamilton Correctional Center, Hodgen
- John Lilley Correctional Center, Boley
- Medium-security facilities with minimum-security units:
- Dick Conner Correctional Center, Hominy
- James Crabtree Correctional Center, Helena
- Mack Alford Correctional Center, Stringtown
- Lexington Assessment and Reception Center, Lexington
UPDATE (from the Department of Corrections): Sept. 18, 6:31 a.m.
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Department of Corrections is continuing to investigate the coordinated gang-related violence from last weekend that took place at six prisons. These investigations have yielded numerous seizures of contraband cellphones, weapons and drugs by agency staff, while also shedding new light on what took place.
The fights, which began Saturday, took place at Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center Lawton Correctional Facility, North Fork Correctional Center, Dick Conner Correctional Center, Mack Alford Correctional Center and William S. Key Correctional Center.
The fights led to 36 inmates transported to hospitals for treatment, eight of whom were still hospitalized Tuesday morning, and injured several correctional officers. One inmate at Dick Conner Correctional Center died. ODOC staff have identified him as Chad Burns, 27, who was serving a 15 years sentence out of Tulsa County for convictions including first-degree burglary, robbery, firearms possession and assault with a dangerous weapon.
The violence appears to be related to a dispute between two prison gangs as well as racial tensions. ODOC put every prison on lock-down status, an act that appears to have stopped the violence from spreading, while the agency continues to investigate.
As of Tuesday, prisons will remain locked down indefinitely. They will remain so until ODOC leadership, its Inspector General, Office of Fugitive Apprehension and Investigations agents, and Security Threats Intelligence staff have determined normal operations may resume.
“Locking down the entire state was a decision we made to keep inmates and our staff safe,” Interim-Director Scott Crow said. “We were faced with a dangerous situation that was rapidly spreading across the state.
“This is in no way intended to penalize the thousands of state inmates who did not participate in this violence. We thank their families for continuing to be patient with us as we get to the bottom of what happened and bring those responsible to justice. As soon as we believe it is safe to return to normal operations, we will do so efficiently and safely.”
While inmates are locked down, they are kept in their cells. Facility staff bring them food, water and medicine, and provide access to showers.
All visitation is canceled until further notice.
Please follow ODOC’s website, doc.ok.gov/newsroom, and agency social media for updates on this incident.
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFDX/KJLT)— UPDATE: The names of the inmates who were injured at the Lawton Correctional Facility has been released.
Lawton Correctional Facility inmates injured
Eric J. Fuller – admitted to a state hospital
Frankie Stutchman – admitted to area hospital
Artoney J. Reese – treated and returned to facility
Russell T. Ermeling – treated and returned to facility
Robert M. Glasser II – admitted to area hospital
Michael E. O’Neil II – treated at the facility
Joseph D. Corley – treated at the facility
Jason A. Russell – treated at the facility
It’s still unclear how or what lead up to these fights. When we learn more, we’ll update you on-air and online on Texomashomepage
One Oklahoma inmate is dead and several others are injured, following several fights at Oklahoma correctional facilities this weekend. Every state prison is on lockdown.
In a statement, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections Public Information Manager Matt Elliott said the fights began Saturday at the Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center in Vinita.
Sunday, fights between inmates happened at the Lawton Correctional Facility, the William S. Key Correctional Center in Fort Supply, the Mack Alford Correctional Center in Stringtown, the North Fork Correctional Center in Sayre and the Dick Conner Correctional Center in Hominy.
The inmate that died, whose identity was not released, was imprisoned at the Dick Conner Correctional Center. Though an identity is unknown, Elliott said these facilities house only male inmates.
More than a dozen inmates were taken to hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. Several correctional officers also received non-life threatening injuries due to trying to break up the fights. Elliott, in the statement, went on to state staff were transferring inmates identified in the fights to other facilities for their safety. Additional staff was also being brought in for enhanced security.
It’s unclear how or what lead up to these fights. When we learn more, we’ll update you on air and online on Texomashomepage.